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Gideon Rosenblatt
Works at The Vital Edge
Attended Wharton School
Lives in Seattle
40,947 followers|5,085,053 views


What is your personal narrative?

We all  tell stories about ourselves. Sometimes, the telling is to others. But always it is to ourselves. The question is: how conscious of these stories are we truly being? 

Over the last several years, I've dug deeply into my own story, to find the truth buried deep within. Some of it has been quite beautiful, and some, well, quite ugly. But all of it is mine, and in the claiming of this story, I become more human. I travel what Joseph Campbell refers to as "the hero's journey." 

Today, I read a wonderfully courageous post by +John Hagel, where he takes the work he has been doing around "narratives" - and applies it to himself. 

He starts off the piece by outlining the core elements of a personal narrative: 

So, what’s a personal narrative? Like all narratives, it ultimately answers three questions:

* Why am I here?
* What can I accomplish?
* What can you do to help me accomplish that?

From there, he dives into a very brave telling of his own personal narrative, with a very personal account of his life and who he is.

Maybe one day, I will be ready to go there. In the mean time, read his:  

Personal Narratives: Insight and Impact:
by +John Hagel

#narrative   #herosjourney  
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+Rob Gordon - I hear you on the multitasking front. I was doing that earlier today - bouncing between different articles that various folks had posted. 

And yeah, I don't think it's one thread either, but I do think that when look poetically enough (for lack of a better term), we're better able to see the connections between the various threads as well. 
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Mission Statement Definition that Moves People

Mission statement definition is a critical – and often botched – job in many businesses. One of the reasons it’s so hard is that defining a useful, yet inspiring mission statement requires flying at the right ‘mission altitude.’  Low altitude mission statements tend to focus on customer benefits and be more literal and narrow in scope, while high altitude mission statements are more global, and offer a more sweeping and inspiring vision of why the company exists.

Simply put, customer missions fulfill a promise to a customer, while social missions aim to make the world a better place. The most powerful missions create synergy between customer mission and social mission.

For the full story...

#mission   #missionstatement   #9MinuteRead   #OnGPlusFirst  
Mission statement definition is a critical - and often botched - job in many businesses. One of the ...
Robin A. Meade's profile photoMartin Zeitler's profile photoTeodora Petkova's profile photoFerananda Ibarra's profile photo
+Ferananda Ibarra mission statements are always a bit political language language, where terms have different meaning, for example: "sustainable" doesn't mean "ecologically sustainable"  rather "industrial sustainable"... even appears three times (not sure if keyword density is important there, when having more content). "structured" might also sound nicer than systematic. that's at least what I think at first time reading it.
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The Role of Government in Innovation

Economist Mariana Mazzucato flips the traditional notion of how innovation happens on its head. She makes a really good case for how the really innovative edge of technology, the really risky stuff, mostly comes from government funding and government programs.

Take a look at the below image of an iPhone, and the callouts on all the most innovative aspects and note that each one of these actually came about through government investment, not private investment. 

Don't get the wrong impression here, she's not some closet communist or socialist, but a hard-nosed economists taking a hard-nosed look at the reality of where real innovation comes from - and it's surprising. 

Given the tendency for Apple and others to avoid paying taxes, Mazzucato explores some alternative ideas for ensuring continued streams of innovation into the future - even looking at government taking equity stakes in the commercialization enabled by their funding. 

This is a 14-minute +TED Talk, that is very much worth the time.

#innovation   #publicsector   #government  
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+Gideon Rosenblatt Siri seems very clear cut, but I don't think it is. In a situation like this, I simply can't imagine the nightmares of figuring out how the Government decides and controls ownership and I therefore think it would stifle efforts to commercialize. 

Siri is one of many spin-offs from CALO (, a DARPA funded project that "brought together over 300 researchers from 25 of the top university and commercial research institutions." How does the Government practically manage such a wide network and figure out where to take ownership? The Government funded the work for military use and maintains rights for that purpose; but the fundamental model is that the contractor is given rights for all other applications. I think a licensing model could possibly work that wouldn't reduce commercialization significantly and would still benefit the Government but I just don't see how an ownership model for something like this is sustainable. The bureaucracy combined with the negative effects on commercialization would probably eat up any potential gains.
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And speaking of Millennials, user-generated content is the best way to reach them (assuming you're not already one of their friends). 
Millennials trust their friends more than professional media.
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Yes, +Daniel Estrada, it's just a bit sad that we seem to have lost faith in the process of professional journalism. For all its current faults (which have more to do with the business of journalism), there is something really important there. 
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Mentoring Discrimination in Universities

NPR featured a disturbing story this morning about systematic racial and gender discrimination in U.S. universities.

The researchers sent fake requests for mentoring to thousands of professors in various departments in various universities. What they found was definite bias in rates of response to the letter as well as rates of positive response to the request for mentoring. Of note:

* Asian and Indian students were particularly discriminated against
* Women and minority professors also discriminated
* Private schools discriminated more than public schools
* Academic disciplines that are more connected to higher-paying jobs discriminated more. Business schools were the worst discriminators.  

The researchers: 
Katherine L. Milkman at University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Modupe Akinola at Columbia University - Columbia Business School, and Dolly Chugh at New York University (NYU). 

The Abstract: 
"Little is known about how bias against women and minorities varies within and between organizations or how it manifests before individuals formally apply to organizations. We address this knowledge gap through an audit study in academia of over 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities drawn from 89 disciplines and 259 institutions. We hypothesized that discrimination would appear at the informal “pathway” preceding entry to academia and would vary by discipline and university as a function of faculty representation and pay. In our experiment, professors were contacted by fictional prospective students seeking to discuss research opportunities prior to applying to a doctoral program. Names of students were randomly assigned to signal gender and race (Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese), but messages were otherwise identical. We found that faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions. Counterintuitively, the representation of women and minorities and bias were uncorrelated, suggesting that greater representation cannot be assumed to reduce bias. This research highlights the importance of studying what happens before formal entry points into organizations and reveals that discrimination is not evenly distributed within and between organizations."

Link to the paper (in case you want to dig deeper):

#racism   #sexism   #discrimination   #academia  
Martin Zeitler's profile photoTalmadge Cooper's profile photoAdel Alsabeeha's profile phototimothy dawes's profile photo
We have so much racism in the US (particularly the "structural racism") that minorities all over the world mistakenly keep coming here! We should inform them at the border crossings that this is the racist country and we practice a lot of what is known as "structural racism" among other forms of racism. 
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This saddens me immensely. 

Read the part about "and then" though...what a wonderful idea. 

+Vic Gundotra, you will be very missed here. Thanks for all your hard work in building this place. 
And Then

Last month, my wife's uncle died in a tragic accident in LA when the bicycle he was using to get lunch was hit by a truck. At the memorial service his daughter relayed a very touching story. 

She said her dad (who was her best friend) called every day to talk. But instead of opening the call with the customary "How are you" or "What's going on", her dad always opened the conversation with "And then?" Her father viewed each conversation as a continuation of the last, and what pained her the most was that there were to be no more "and thens". I cried. 

Since then I've thought a lot about how similar this is to our life's endeavors. We pour our heart and soul into our work and it becomes something we love and cherish. But even the challenges we work on today will one day become "and thens" as we move on to the next. 

Today I'm announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years.

I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google. I don't believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else. And I'm overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of +Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google. From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry's encouragement and support.

I'm also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn't tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly.

Finally, thank you to all those who I've met on Google+. The community here has been so supportive that I don't even know how to say thank you. You all make Google+. Without you, this social network wouldn't exist. Your support for Google+, and for me personally is something I will never forget. 

But, now is the time for a new journey. A continuation. An "and then". I am excited about what's next. But this isn't the day to talk about that. This is a day to celebrate the past 8 years. To cry. And smile. And to look forward to the journey yet to come.

And then....
+Vic Gundotra 

Eric Enge's profile photoPatrick Sharpe's profile photoChristopher Lamke's profile photoGideon Rosenblatt's profile photo
+Vic Gundotra very sad to hear about your leaving Google, but I wish you the very best!
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This is a great piece by +David Amerland on why companies should wrap their marketing efforts in warm, glowing light of truth. This is not David's book, Google Semantic Search, but an earlier piece that carries a message that he definitely built upon in his book. In this piece, he goes into examples of how companies have made truth marketing work and lays out the key attributes your products/services need to have in order to successfully pull it off.

If you want to see why all of this is becoming even more important today, read his book, where he makes a compelling link between truth and the coming transparency of the semantic web and semantic search in particular.

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Yikes. And before you say "I don't watch that much television", please note that this is really about prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle, so social media time would probably have a similar effect - don't you think?

I'll say it again. Yikes. Thanks for the heads up +Brian Vellmure

#healthtip   #television   #sitting  
"Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes, the authors said."
Two new studies make a convincing case that sitting too much will shorten your life.
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I see wielding a chainsaw and lawnmower as the new hit workout routine, +Jean-Marc Luna. You just need to create a video with some rocking music behind it. ;-)
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Gideon Rosenblatt

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The new profile layout just showed up for me in Twitter. I've heard rumblings that some of the old-school Twitter folks aren't thrilled, but I like it (even all of the social networks are now starting to look alike). 

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I don't think the banner image is a huge deal, +Daniel Stoddart, but I agree with you about the scrolling. The tweets view is way, way to scrolly. 

Also, it's worth noting a couple of "user behavior modification" tricks too. For one, "favorites" is now very visible, so there's some way to surface those user activities and they're a little less gratuitous. Photos/videos are more prominent too. I think the big misstep was not giving lists more visual prominence. 
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Gideon Rosenblatt

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One of the big reasons we feel busy is because we keep telling ourselves we're busy. Oh, and we have a hard time disconnecting from work thanks to technology. The reality is that we actually work less these days - but I wonder if that time includes all the time on email from home? 

Also, an interesting discussion yesterday, rooted in the Daoist perspective on time after +CJ Liu's interview of Robert Rosenbaum.
If we start to reward business leaders for more relational thinking than linear/numbers thinking, we can start to get away from putting "busy" on a pedestal.  Busy-ness has wrongly become a status symbol, when - in reality - most people are actually in awe of those who clearly live a healthy balance of work, health, family, friends and ... other interests.

The wealthiest people are those who have "systems" of positive and productive relationships and practices in their lives (if you ask me...)
You actually have more free time than you think.
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it's not me pretending to be busy, it's rather my clients suggesting me to do something... three batches of tasks, means never running low on work... emails are commonly the very last task per day, because it's the productivity killer #1 (closely followed by G+).
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I'm a technologist with a background in business and social change. I write about the impact of technology on business and society.
  • The Vital Edge
    Publisher and Writer, 2013 - present
    Disruptively good business.
  • Alchemy of Change
    Writer, 2010 - 2012
    Executive Director, 2001 - 2010
  • Microsoft
    Product Unit Manager, 1991 - 2001
  • US China Business Council
    1985 - 1989
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Beijing - Tokyo - Philadelphia - Washington, DC - Salt Lake City
Painting a future where business and technology serve our highest aspirations as a species.
I'm a writer with a background in technology, business and social change. 

Most of my writing today is at The Vital Edge. My focus there is on organizations that use technology to fulfill missions that matter to society and the planet. 

Follow me on Google+ for posts about:
  • Social enterprise and mission-driven business
  • Artificial intelligence and the future of technology
  • Social media and networks  
  • Social change
  • The human soul
When changes happen on Google+, I tend to offer deep-dive analysis :

I started and moderate the "Good Business" Community on Google+, which is dedicated to the proposition that business can be a force for good in the world. 

You can follow me on Twitter at @gideonro

My Bio:

For nine years, I ran Groundwire, a mission-driven technology consulting group, dedicated to building a more sustainable world. Groundwire specialized in CRM, web and social media communications all aimed at helping organizations strengthen their ability to engage people. I am also a proud board member of YES! Magazine

Prior to that, I spent ten years at Microsoft in various marketing, product development and management positions. While there, I developed CarPoint, one of the world's first large-scale e-commerce websites and marketed the company's consumer multimedia titles. 

I was raised in Utah, lived and worked in Japan and China for several years, and now lives in Seattle with my wife, CJ, and two boys.

Here's the full story.

#socialenterprise, #mission, #socialchange, #networks

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I'm the best on my block at not bragging.
  • Wharton School
    MBA, 1989 - 1991
  • Lewis and Clark College
    International Relations
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